JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thousands of people will be visiting Jacksonville this weekend for the annual Georgia-Florida game and thousands of them will be staying in local hotels.
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According to Visit Jacksonville, there are no longer any rooms available in the downtown core, but hotels in outlying areas still have some availability.
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"If you can fill the downtown quadrant, all the outlying areas benefit-all the way to the airport, even out to Amelia Island, down to St. Augustine," explained Paul Eckert, President of the North Florida Hotel and Lodging Association. "So, this is a case and point of why it's so important that the downtown area thrives and is successful."
Visitor's Center officials estimate this weekend will have an economic impact of $20,765,265. 10,771 hotel rooms are booked for the weekend with the average visitor staying for two nights, according to Visit Jacksonville.
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Statistics show the event is continuing to grow. In 2011, Visit Jacksonville reported an increase of eight percent more hotel bookings on the Friday night before the game than in 2010. Saturday also saw an increase of more than six percent. Those increases added up to an extra $572,760 that weekend for hotels and restaurants than they earned the year before.
"Every dollar that's brought into a restaurant or a lodging facility that's then handed to an employee in the form of taxable income is also going back into the local economy. So, it kind of reinvests itself if you will, in the overall success of the future," said Eckert.
If you still need a hotel room, call Visit Jacksonville at 1-800-733-2668.
First Coast News